The city’s three public libraries will be closed July 1-4 as Santa Clarita prepares to take full control of its library system.
Santa Clarita is at the end of its contract with private company Library Systems & Services Inc. Starting July 1, the Newhall, Valencia and Canyon Country libraries will see full city staffing. Residents won’t see many visible changes to the facilities, said Deputy City Manager Darren Hernandez.
The three-day closure will take place for staff training and ensuring the catalog data is fully transferred over. The catalog will visually be the same. However, users will not be able to place a hold until the July 4 holiday and July 1-3 transition is over, Hernandez said.
“For the next eight to nine days, there will be some inconvenience, but after that the library will be fully operational under our library management,” he said.
The city added 25 new positions, Hernandez said. Regular library users will notice some new staff, but there will also be some returning staff — of the city’s 84 full-time and part-time positions, 31 will be filled by current library staff.
The interview process for the 54 part-time and 30 full-time positions was competitive — 894 people applied.
Turnover rates for LSSI’s 59 library positions were high during its contract with the city, Hernandez said. Thus, the city had a competitive application process to ensure the new staff would have a higher retention rate.
Tyger White, president of Friends of Santa Clarita Public Library, said the group is looking forward to the new operations.
“The intent of the change is to improve the library, and we’re going to support the librarians, staff and the city to make this one of the best libraries in the state and country,” she said.
The group is looking for library volunteers. Interested residents can email [email protected].
The city is also planning a library in Saugus, the only community in the city without a library. Officials are still working on the location while eyeing a couple of properties, such as a piece of land on Plum Canyon Road and Heller Circle.
Communications Manager Carrie Lujan said the new Saugus library, which is part of the Santa Clarita 2020 plan, would not be complete by 2020. However, it would have much of its planning done by then.